Posted: December 2, 2022

Antioxidant-rich specialty corn reduces necrotic enteritis.

Credit: BigStock

Credit: BigStock

The inclusion of a high-flavonoid corn called pennhfd, developed by a Penn State maize geneticist, in the diets of broiler chickens reduced the incidence and severity of a fatal intestinal disorder, known as necrotic enteritis, in a recent study.

That result is important, according to study leader Gino Lorenzoni, assistant professor of poultry science and avian health, because it comes at a time when poultry producers are reducing their reliance on antibiotics to keep birds healthy. Due to concern about the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, producers need help keeping disease at bay among their flocks.

In findings published in Poultry Science, birds fed the PennHFD-based diet had a 48 percent lower incidence of intestinal lesions, higher body weight gain, and a 23 percent lower mortality rate compared to chicks fed the control diet. Penn State has applied for a provisional patent on feeding PennHFD as a poultry therapy.

--Jeff Mulhollem